* AwesomeMusic: Most of their discography, but especially their first three albums (''The Hurting'', ''Songs from the Big Chair'', and ''The Seeds of Love''). All their albums have their share of great tunes, though.
* CoveredUp: "Mad World" was originally performed by them, but many (read: underage) people only know Gary Jules' version from Film/DonnieDarko.
** However, both band members have said that they love this version of "Mad World". They originally tried to write the song as a ballad on acoustic guitar, but it didn't work, so wrote it to a drum beat and did a synth pop version instead. They have even covered Gary Jules' version live.
* EpicRiff: The drum intro to "Shout", the main synthesizer riff of "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", and the main piano riff of "Head Over Heels" all count.
* MemeticMutation: ''Shout, shout, let it all out! These are the things I can do without, come on!'' It's also not uncommon for other people to insert a different word where "things" is. Just take a look at the band's main trope page. Somebody used it as a heading to describe all of the following tropes by replacing that word with "tropes".
* MostWonderfulSound: Oleta Adams' voice. And often Orzabal's, for that matter.
* NarmCharm: Roland's dancing in the "Mad World" video, especially during the instrumental break.
* NightmareFuel: "The Prisoner" is an oddly eerie and unsettling song, at least, by Tears for Fears' standards.
* SignatureSong: "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". Yes, "Shout" was a slightly bigger hit but the former tends to be better-remembered.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSong: "Sowing the Seeds of Love" was a very obvious musical homage to "I Am the Walrus", and it also had various other [[Music/TheBeatles Beatle-esque]] touches. "Schrödinger's Cat" is, by Orzabal's own admission, another example of this for the same song.
* TearJerker: Many, especially "Famous Last Words", which is about a nuclear holocaust.
** "Woman in Chains". When Roland sings the lyric "And I feel somebody somewhere is trying to breathe", you'll be reduced to tears.
** "Advice for the Young at Heart" invokes this trope in a somewhat more heart warming manner - it's a song sung by one newlywed to the other, with a timeless, almost ethereal Latin arrangement. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FISDbRUPUI The music video]], showing a Latin American wedding, matches the lyrical and musical material nicely.
** "''And when you've taken down your guard, if I could change your mind, I'd really love to break your heaaart. I'd really love to break your heaaart!''", from "Shout".
** "Start of the Breakdown".
** "Brian Wilson Said" can be this, particularly the SubduedSection towards the end of the song. The RealitySubtext of Wilson's struggle with mental disorders only makes the song even more saddening. The succeeding song, "Goodnight Song", can also be quite a tear-jerker.
** "Los reyes católicos (reprise)" has quite a heartbreaking arrangement. The penultimate song on ''Raoul'', "Me and My Big Ideas", is also a quite downbeat song about the dissolution of a relationship.
** "Memories Fade" is often overlooked, but it is rather depressing.
** "The Working Hour".
** "Standing on the Corner of the Third World" and "Swords and Knives" can also be quite saddening, particularly since the latter is about Music/SidVicious and Nancy Spungen.